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OCT Election Underway

Written on January 28th, 2015

Shannon Marcus, teacher at Woodland Christian High School, would like your vote!

Marcus is running to represent independent schools in Ontario for the Ontario College of Teachers Council (OCT). And, she’s eager to give Christian educators “a voice in the province”.

Thirty seven professionals make up the Ontario College of Teachers Council, which exists to develop and approve policies that regulate the teaching profession in Ontario. Only fourteen of those members are appointed by the government. The remaining twenty three are elected by their peers.

Beginning March 2nd, 2015, College members will be able to vote for those members online, via the Council Election section of the Ontario College of Teachers Website.

Were she selected to fill a seat for the OCT Council, Marcus would be elected for a three year term, and also play an active role in reviewing the content of Additional Qualification courses and the issues that surround teachers’ qualifications.

She would participate in decisions around issues like the transparency of the College’s processes, and regularly discuss the role that the College has in advancing the teaching profession. She’d also be among council members who decide on the annual budget and the membership fee that supports the College’s work.

As an OCT council member, Marcus could bring a fresh and knowledgeable perspective to many areas of discussion. She’s worked in a variety of educational contexts, and has seen “a lot of different ways of doing things”, she says.

In the winter of 2009 Marcus accepted a teaching position in Cairo, Egypt, and moved there the following summer to teach at an international school for two years. In 2011, she moved back to Canada, with “her head still spinning from the revolution and happenings of the Arab Spring”. Since then, she’s been working at Woodland Christian High School in Kitchener, where she serves as International Student coordinator, and teaches Food and Nutrition, ESL, and French.

“I love the daily adventure of working with teenagers,” she notes. “I appreciate their honesty, their enthusiasm and excitement for school and learning.”

Woven into that daily adventure have been numerous opportunities for Marcus to explore a wide range of assessment and pedagogy skills.

Outside of the classroom Marcus says she’s learned how to be an effective communicator—striving always to make decisions that benefit members of Edifide, an 800 member association of independent Christian school teachers in Ontario. As Board Chair of the organization, she’s worked hard to “set direction” when necessary and follow educational trends in the province.

As matters related to Christian education move into the public sphere, Edifide Executive Director Diane Stronks wants to see the right person represent independent schools around the OCT Council table. If results from this year’s election add up to a win for Marcus, College members can trust that independent schools will be well represented.

Shannon is someone well equipped to “dialogue with the wider community in the educational scene,” says Stronks. “She is a person who can speak intelligently and hospitably into that conversation.”

You can speak into that conversation too! Click here to participate in YouDecide2015 and vote! Please note that members who want to be eligible to vote will need to pay their membership fees by February 25th.

If you’d like to learn a little bit more about Shannon, click here to read her election blog.